I haven’t been updating this blog much, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy. I’m currently wrapping up a video on light pollution in the Jackson Hole, Wyoming area, plotting a large road trip around the southwest for a follow-up video covering the region’s dark skies, and finally, making plans with my girlfriend to hike the Hayduke Trail, an 800-mile trail stretching from Arches National Park to Zion National Park with a detour through the Grand Canyon.
What Is Light Pollution?
The upcoming video, which I’m hoping to have ready by the end of the summer, will cover the basics of light pollution, how it affects Jackson Hole, some potential solutions, and the importance of the night sky to the area. It’s a personal project that I began upon teaming up with Wyoming Stargazing, whose ultimate goal at the moment is to construct an observatory and planetarium right here in Jackson, Wyoming. Already eager to create a film on light pollution, I had the idea to document the entire process, from concept to completion, and beyond.
For the film, I interviewed Dr. Samuel Singer, founder of the non-profit Wyoming Stargazing, Dr. Tatiana Rodriguez, who is also on the board of the same non-profit, as well as Loren Nelson, founder of the Teton Photography Group, Greg Balvin, a retired employee for the city of Boulder, Colorado, as well as Lyn Dalebout, a local poet and educator who treasures the night sky. The goal is to raise awareness on the subject and set the stage for future projects about the importance of a dark night sky not just in remote areas, but all over the world.
The film is currently coming along smoothly now, so expect a late summer release. The trailer can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mczohOgmku8.
Dark Skies of the Southwest
Once the film is completed and fall has wound down here in Jackson Hole, my girlfriend and I will depart for an extensive, six-week trip throughout the southwest to document the region’s dark skies. We plan on hitting many major and minor national and state parks for the night sky documentary, as well as gathering interviews from key people in those areas.
In addition to gathering interviews along the way, I’ll be gathering many time-lapses, video footage, and even producing a large amount of astrophotography. As if that wasn’t enough, we’ll head out on many hikes and backpacking trips to enjoy and document the more remote regions of the southwest, as well as caching food and water for The Hayduke Trail.
The Hayduke Trail
The Hayduke Trail is a long-distance through-hike that my girlfriend and I are planning to hike spring of 2015, something that leaves us both giddy every time we think about it. Named after one of Edward Abbey’s fictional characters from The Monkey Wrench Gang, The Hayduke Trail stretches over 800 miles, starting in Arches National Park and ending in Zion National Park. Along the way, we’ll pass through Canyonlands National Park, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Capitol Reef National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Bryce Canyon National Park, the Grand Canyon, and the Kaibab Plateau before reaching our terminus in Zion. It’s an adventure of unparalleled excitement for the both of us and preparations are already underway, with intense training coming this winter.
We’re planning on documenting the trip through both stills and video, so expect another video from this adventure as well!
In case you’re wondering why I’ve been quiet lately, it’s because I’m simply balancing these projects with full-time work, as well as enjoying the majestic beauty around Jackson Hole that we call, “summer.” Once the summer begins to wind down though, expect many more frequent and exciting updates! If you’d like to make a donation for either of the latter two projects, keep an eye out for crowd-sourcing campaigns early this fall and late winter of next year.